You likely know someone -- maybe even yourself -- who has had a car-deer accident. Someone on our staff has hit 19 -- yes 19 deer! That's practically in "I've lost count" territory.

If you live in Michigan, your chances of hitting a deer are one in 85. Meaning one out of 85 Michigan drivers will have an insurance claim for damage caused by a collision with a deer or other large animal in 2017. That's about the same as last year, according to State Farm's annual ranking.

The Mitt ranks ninth in the US for the likelihood of a car-deer accident, while West Virginia, Montana, and Pennsylvania are the worst in the nation. Hawaii is last; the likelihood of hitting a large animal on the road there is only one in 6,823.

State Farm

Mating season --October, November, and December -- doubles the chances of a car-deer collision. Your chances also go up at dusk and dawn, when large animals tend to be on the move. State Farm offers these suggestions for avoiding such accidents:

 

  • Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
  • If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
  • Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Always buckle up - every trip, every time.
  • Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
  • Brake if you can, but avoid swerving. This can result in a more severe crash.
  • Remain focused on the road. Scan for hazards, including animals.
  • Avoid distractions. Devices or eating might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
  • Do not rely on products such as deer whistles. They are not proven effective.
  • If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear. Keep focus on the road ahead.